If you’ve stopped by the library this semester, you’ve probably noticed some changes to the layout. Two potential challenges (the closing of Book Ends Coffee Shop and the realization that not all of our spaces were ADA compliant) created new opportunities to rearrange things in an intentional way to better serve the CSC community.
The first major change is that Transitional Studies has moved into the former Book Ends Coffee Shop. When Transitional Studies hired a part-time staff member in March, it was quickly made apparent that they had outgrown their space. The office needed a setup where Tamara, the Director, and Stef, the part-time staff member, could easily have discussions. This simply was not possible with the old layout. Stef was temporarily housed in a nook in the Learning Lab, but this was not a good long-term solution. The closure of Book Ends presented a great solution. Transitional Studies took over this space during the summer. They now have a reception area/office space for Stef in front of a private office for Tamara.
Once Transitional Studies moved, it set off a chain reaction of re-envisioning LLC spaces. Tom Tylee moved into the old Transitional Studies office. This is beneficial because all of the Office of Academic Success is in one uninterrupted row now. More importantly, Tom’s previous office of glass walls did not reach the ceiling, which meant his office was not equipped for confidential discussions. His new space allows the privacy that is required for delicate conversations.
The Learning Lab also removed some unused cubicles near their entrance and revamped the space into an open floor plan Writers’ Corner. This has created a very welcoming feel for people upon entering the Learning Lab.
The revamp didn’t stop there. One of the most frequent requests we hear from students is for more group study rooms and more whiteboards. These spaces are some of the more popular places in the library, so we wanted to expand on the three we already had. Tom’s old office has been converted to another group study room, complete with whiteboards and a conference table. We also rearranged the seating in the open area near the other glass group study rooms to make it feel more like a study space.
The Virtual Reality computer has moved from the lower level to the main floor. When the Richards Media Lab was initially set up, Virtual Reality programs tended to be more stationary. Technological advances mean that current VR programs require more movement. This necessitated that the VR be moved to a more open space. The Learning Lab had a small computer lab that wasn’t being used, so this space was converted to The eXtended Reality XR Learning Lab, presented by the Richards Media Lab.
The second major change is that the library rearranged furniture and shelving to be ADA compliant. After Tom Tylee returned from a disabilities conference, he evaluated the LLC’s spaces for ADA compliance. In a few areas, we were an inch or two short of compliance. This necessitated the rearrangement of the fiction collection, as well as some furniture throughout the library. We also looked at student surveys and our statistics to see what spaces were popular in the library, and rearranged accordingly. The library staff spent a long day moving furniture, shelving, and books the week before the Fall semester started. Our aching muscles were soothed, though, by the many compliments we received about the new layout.
One of the most exciting unintended positive outcomes of the rearrangement is that the Rotating Collection now has increased visibility. Its previous location was not conducive to casual browsing as it was located very close to some popular computer stations. Its new location, on the back side of the current periodicals, is more open, allowing book lovers to browse freely.
Stop by to see the new spaces when you get a chance. We are always happy to have visitors.